Family members of patients with end stage renal disease were reported to have an increased prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, studies differentiated genetic and non-genetic family members are limited. We sought to investigate the prevalence of CKD among fist-degree relatives and spouses of dialysis patients in China.
Seventeen dialysis facilities from 4 cities of China including 1062 first-degree relatives and 450 spouses of dialysis patients were enrolled. Sex- and age- matched controls were randomly selected from a representative sample of general population in Beijing. CKD was defined as decreased estimated glomerular (eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) or albuminuria.
The prevalence of eGFR less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, albuminuria and the overall prevalence of CKD in dialysis spouses were compared with their counterpart controls, which was 3.8% vs. 7.8% (P < 0.01), 16.8% vs. 14.6% (P = 0.29) and 18.4% vs. 19.8% (P = 0.61), respectively. The prevalence of eGFR less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, albuminuria and the overall prevalence of CKD in dialysis relatives were also compared with their counterpart controls, which was 1.5% vs. 2.4% (P = 0.12), 14.4% vs. 8.4% (P < 0.01) and 14.6% vs. 10.5% (P < 0.01), respectively. Multivariable Logistic regression analysis indicated that being spouses of dialysis patients is negatively associated with presence of low eGFR, and being relatives of dialysis patients is positively associated with presence of albuminuria.
The association between being family members of dialysis patients and presence of CKD is different between first-degree relatives and spouses. The underlying mechanisms deserve further investigation.
Chronic kidney disease; Albuminuria; Renal function; Relatives; Spouses; Screening
We reported previously that insect acetylcholinesterases (AChEs) could be selectively and irreversibly inhibited by methanethiosulfonates presumably through conjugation to an insect-specific cysteine in these enzymes. However, no direct proof for the conjugation has been published to date, and doubts remain about whether such cysteine-targeting inhibitors have desirable kinetic properties for insecticide use. Here we report mass spectrometric proof of the conjugation and new chemicals that irreversibly inhibited African malaria mosquito AChE with bimolecular inhibition rate constants (kinact/KI) of 3,604–458,597 M−1sec−1 but spared human AChE. In comparison, the insecticide paraoxon irreversibly inhibited mosquito and human AChEs with kinact/KI values of 1,915 and 1,507 M−1sec−1, respectively, under the same assay conditions. These results further support our hypothesis that the insect-specific AChE cysteine is a unique and unexplored target to develop new insecticides with reduced insecticide resistance and low toxicity to mammals, fish, and birds for the control of mosquito-borne diseases.
Translesion synthesis (TLS) employs low fidelity polymerases to replicate past damaged DNA in a potentially error-prone process. Regulatory mechanisms that prevent TLS-associated mutagenesis are unknown; however, our recent studies suggest that the PCNA-binding protein Spartan plays a role in suppression of damage-induced mutagenesis. Here, we show that Spartan negatively regulates error-prone TLS that is dependent on POLD3, the accessory subunit of the replicative DNA polymerase Pol δ. We demonstrate that the putative zinc metalloprotease domain SprT in Spartan directly interacts with POLD3 and contributes to suppression of damage-induced mutagenesis. Depletion of Spartan induces complex formation of POLD3 with Rev1 and the error-prone TLS polymerase Pol ζ, and elevates mutagenesis that relies on POLD3, Rev1 and Pol ζ. These results suggest that Spartan negatively regulates POLD3 function in Rev1/Pol ζ-dependent TLS, revealing a previously unrecognized regulatory step in error-prone TLS.
Graphene has attracted much interest in both academia and industry. The challenge of making it semiconducting is crucial for applications in electronic devices. A promising approach is to reduce its physical size down to the nanometer scale. Here, we present the surface-assisted bottom-up fabrication of atomically precise armchair graphene nanoribbons (AGNRs) with predefined widths, namely 7-, 14- and 21-AGNRs, on Ag(111) as well as their spatially resolved width-dependent electronic structures. STM/STS measurements reveal their associated electron scattering patterns and the energy gaps over 1 eV. The mechanism to form such AGNRs is addressed based on the observed intermediate products. Our results provide new insights into the local properties of AGNRs, and have implications for the understanding of their electrical properties and potential applications.
Some investigations have suggested that induction chemotherapy with a combination of taxanes, cisplatin and fluorouracil (TPF) is effective in locally advanced head and neck cancer. However, other trials have indicated that TPF does not improve outcomes. The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of TPF with a cisplatin and fluorouracil (PF) regimen through a meta-analysis.
Four randomized clinical trials were identified, which included 1,552 patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer who underwent induction chemotherapy with either a TPF or PF protocol. The outcomes included the 3-year survival rate, overall response rate and different types of adverse events. Risk ratios (RRs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were pooled using RevMan 5.1 software.
The 3-year survival rate (51.0% vs. 42.4%; p = 0.002), 3-year progression-free survival rate (35.9% vs. 27.2%; p = 0.007) and overall response to chemotherapy (72.9% vs. 62.1%; p<0.00001) of the patients in the TPF group was statistically superior to those in the PF group. In terms of toxicities, the incidence of febrile neutropenia (7.0% vs. 3.2%; p = 0.001) and alopecia (10.8% vs. 1.1%; p<0.00001) was higher in the TPF group.
The TPF induction chemotherapy regimen leads to a significant survival advantage with acceptable toxicity rates for patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer compared with the PF regimen.
Bioimpedance analysis (BIA) has been reported as helpful in identifying hypervolemia. Observation data showed that hypervolemic maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients identified using BIA methods have higher mortality risk. However, it is not known if BIA-guided fluid management can improve MHD patients’ survival. The objectives of the BOCOMO study are to evaluate the outcome of BIA guided fluid management compared with standard care.
This is a multicenter, prospective, randomized, controlled trial. More than 1300 participants from 16 clinical sites will be included in the study. The enrolment period will last 6 months, and minimum length of follow-up will be 36 months. MHD patients aged between 18 years and 80 years who have been on MHD for at least 3 months and meet eligibility criteria will be invited to participate in the study. Participants will be randomized to BIA arm or control arm in a 1:1 ratio. A portable whole body bioimpedance spectroscopy device (BCM—Fresenius Medical Care D GmbH) will be used for BIA measurement at baseline for both arms of the study. In the BIA arm, additional BCM measurements will be performed every 2 months. The primary intent-to-treat analysis will compare outcomes for a composite endpoint of death, acute myocardial infarction, stroke or incident peripheral arterial occlusive disease between groups. Secondary endpoints will include left ventricular wall thickness, blood pressure, medications, and incidence and length of hospitalization.
Previous results regarding the benefit of strict fluid control are conflicting due to small sample sizes and unstable dry weight estimating methods. To our knowledge this is the first large-scale, multicentre, prospective, randomized controlled trial to assess whether BIS-guided volume management improves outcomes of MHD patients. The endpoints of the BOCOMO study are of utmost importance to health care providers. In order to obtain that aim, the study was designed with very careful important considerations related to the endpoints, sample size, inclusion criteria, exclusion criteria and so on. For example, annual mortality of Beijing MHD patients was around 10%. To reach statistical significance, the sample size will be very large. By using composite endpoint, the sample size becomes reasonable and feasible. Limiting inclusion to patients with urine volume less than 800 ml/day the day before dialysis session will limit confounding due to residual renal function effects on the measured parameters. Patients who had received BIS measurement within 3 months prior to enrolment are excluded as data from such measurements might lead to protocol violation. Although not all patients enrolled will be incident patients, we will record the vintage of dialysis in the multivariable analysis.
Current Controlled Trials NCT01509937
Hemodialysis; Bioimpedance; Dry weight; Body composition monitor; Randomized controlled trial
Shiga-like toxins and ricin are ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) that are lethal to mammals and pose a global health threat. No clinical vaccines or therapeutics currently exist to protect against these RIPs. Two small molecules (Retro-1 and Retro-2) were discovered with high-throughput screening and reported for their protection of cells against RIPs. Of great significance, Retro-2, reported as (E)-2-(((5-methylthiophen-2-yl)methylene)amino)-N-phenylbenzamide, fully protected mice from lethal nasal challenge with ricin. Herein, we report studies showing that the chemical structure of Retro-2 is (±)-2-(5-methylthiophen-2-yl)-3-phenyl-2,3-dihydroquinazolin-4(1H)-one rather than (E)-2-(((5-methylthiophen-2-yl)methylene)amino)-N-phenylbenzamide. The latter is an achiral molecule that converts spontaneously to the former, which is a racemate and showed cell protection against RIPs. This calls for attention to (±)-2-(5-methylthiophen-2-yl)-3-phenyl-2,3-dihydroquinazolin-4(1H)-one as a promising RIP inhibitor and for chemical characterization of drug leads obtained from high-throughput screens.
Few research studies have addressed the long-term effects caused by catastrophes, and no study has ever explored the life quality, physical diseases, and psychological impairment of earthquake survivors at the same time. This study seeks to reveal survivors' quality of life, physical diseases, and mental health.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted through multi-stage sampling approach three years after the Wenchuan earthquake.
A total of 2525 subjects were interviewed. Symptoms of PTSD were reported by 8.8% of the respondents from the seriously affected areas and 0.5%, the less hit areas. Prevalence of chronic diseases was 39.2% and 22.1% respectively, and two-week prevalence rate, 24.9% and 12.7% respectively. In the multivariate analysis, two-week prevalence, displacement, no regular income, receiving mental health support after the disaster, family members died or missing, injured due to the quake, and person who witnessed someone being killed or injured were independently associated with higher prevalence for symptoms of PTSD. Most subscales of SF-12 negatively correlated with age, chronic diseases, two-week prevalence, injured due to the disaster, home or property loss, and score of the 3-year PTSD symptoms, but positively correlated with higher education and higher household income.
The rates of physical diseases and symptoms of PTSD were relatively high, and the quality of life was poor among victims in the hard-hit areas 3 years after the earthquake. Physical impairment correlated with symptom of PTSD, and both were negatively associated with quality of life.
Paramyxovirus hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) plays roles in viral entry and maturation, including binding to sialic acid receptors, activation of the F protein to drive membrane fusion, and enabling virion release during virus budding. HN can thereby directly influence virulence and in a subset of avirulent Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strains, such as NDV Ulster, HN must be proteolytically activated to remove a C-terminal extension not found in other NDV HN proteins. Ulster HN is 616 amino acids long and the 45 amino acid C-terminal extension present in its precursor (HN0) form has to be cleaved to render HN biologically active. Here we show that Ulster HN contains an inter-subunit disulfide bond within the C-terminal extension at residue 596, which regulates HN activities and neuraminidase (NA) domain dimerization. We determined the crystal structure of the dimerized NA domain containing the C-terminal extension, which extends along the outside of the sialidase β-propeller domain and inserts C-terminal residues into the NA domain active site. The C-terminal extension also engages a secondary sialic acid binding site present in NDV HN proteins, which is located at the NA domain dimer interface, that most likely blocks its attachment function. These results clarify how the Ulster HN C-terminal residues lead to an auto-inhibited state of HN, the requirement for proteolytic activation of HN0 and associated reduced virulence.
Newcastle disease virus (NDV) can cause severe disease in birds, with the most virulent strains causing sudden death, even in vaccinated populations in the poultry industry. Highly virulent exotic NDV (END) strains have caused largescale outbreaks in the US in 1971 and 2003, requiring the culling of 12 million and 3 million chickens, respectively. Additional economic costs were associated with containment and cleanup. NDV strains vary greatly in their virulence and ability to cause such outbreaks. Two proteins at the surface of the virus, the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) and the fusion (F) protein, activate NDV entry into cells and variations in both proteins are linked to differences in strain-specific virulence. Certain avirulent strains of NDV, such as NDV Ulster, express a longer HN protein with a C-terminal segment that must be proteolytically cleaved to fully activate the protein. Here we demonstrate that the extra C-terminal 45 amino acids of NDV Ulster HN adopt a well-defined structure, not present in the shorter HN proteins from virulent strains, that blocks two key receptor binding regions necessary for attachment to cells and virus entry. The results clarify how this unique evolutionary adaptation suppresses HN functions in avirulent NDV strains, consistent with an important role for this region in modulating NDV pathogenicity.
Lung adenocarcinoma is histologically heterogeneous and has 5 distinct histologic growth patterns: lepidic, acinar, papillary, micropapillary, and solid. To date, there is no consensus regarding the clinical utility of these patterns.
The authors performed a detailed semiquantitative assessment of histologic patterns of 240 lung adenocarcinomas and determined the association with patients’ clinicopathologic features, including recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) rates. In a subset of tumors, expression levels of 2 prognostic molecular markers were evaluated: thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1) (n = 218) and a panel of 5 proteins (referred as the FILM signature index) (n = 185).
Four mutually exclusive tumor histology pattern groups were identified: 1) any solid (38%), 2) any papillary but no solid (14%), 3) lepidic and acinar but no solid or papillary (30%), and 4) acinar only (18%). Patients in group 3 had a higher RFS rate than patients in group 1 (hazard ratio [HR], 0.4510; P = .0165) and group 2 (HR, 0.4253; P = .0425). Solid pattern tumors (group 1) were associated with a lower OS rate than nonsolid pattern tumors (all stages: HR; 1.665; P = .0144; stages I and II: HR, 2.157; P = .008). In the patients who had tumors with a nonsolid pattern, high TTF-1 expression was associated significantly with higher RFS (HR, 0.994; P = .0017) and OS (HR, 0.996; P = .0276) rates in all stages, and a high FILM signature index score was associated with lower RFS and OS rates in all stages (RFS: HR, 1.343; P = .0192; OS: HR, 1.371; P = .0156) and in stages I and II (RFS: HR, 1.419; P = .0095; OS: HR, 1.315; P = .0422).
The presence of a solid histologic pattern was identified as a marker of unfavorable prognosis in patients with primary lung adenocarcinoma. High TTF-1 expression and low FILM signature index scores were associated with a better prognosis for patients who had tumors with a nonsolid pattern.
histologic patterns; lung adenocarcinoma; thyroid transcription factor 1; prognostic signature
Paramyxovirus entry into cells requires the fusion protein (F) and a receptor binding protein (hemagglutinin-neuraminidase [HN], H, or G). The multifunctional HN protein of some paramyxoviruses, besides functioning as the receptor (sialic acid) binding protein (hemagglutinin activity) and the receptor-destroying protein (neuraminidase activity), enhances F activity, presumably by lowering the activation energy required for F to mediate fusion of viral and cellular membranes. Before or upon receptor binding by the HN globular head, F is believed to interact with the HN stalk. Unfortunately, until recently none of the receptor binding protein crystal structures have shown electron density for the stalk domain. Parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5) HN exists as a noncovalent dimer-of-dimers on the surface of cells, linked by a single disulfide bond in the stalk. Here we present the crystal structure of the PIV5-HN stalk domain at a resolution of 2.65 Å, revealing a four-helix bundle (4HB) with an upper (N-terminal) straight region and a lower (C-terminal) supercoiled part. The hydrophobic core residues are a mix of an 11-mer repeat and a 3- to 4-heptad repeat. To functionally characterize the role of the HN stalk in F interactions and fusion, we designed mutants along the PIV5-HN stalk that are N-glycosylated to physically disrupt F-HN interactions. By extensive study of receptor binding, neuraminidase activity, oligomerization, and fusion-promoting functions of the mutant proteins, we found a correlation between the position of the N-glycosylation mutants on the stalk structure and their neuraminidase activities as well as their abilities to promote fusion.
Identification of effective markers for outcome is expected to improve the clinical management of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Here, we assessed in NSCLC the prognostic efficacy of genes, which we had previously found to be differentially expressed in an in vitro model of human lung carcinogenesis.
Prediction algorithms and risk-score models were applied to the expression of the genes in publicly available NSCLC expression datasets. The prognostic capacity of the immunohistochemical expression of proteins encoded by these genes was also tested using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue specimens from 156 lung adenocarcinomas and 79 squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs).
The survival of all-stages (p<0.001, HR=2.0) or stage-I (p<0.001, HR=2.84) adenocarcinoma patients that expressed the five-gene in vitro lung carcinogenesis model (FILM) signature was significantly poorer than that of patients who did not. No survival differences were observed between SCCs predicted to express or lack FILM signature. Moreover, all stages (p<0.001, HR=1.95) or stage-I (p=0.001, HR=2.6) adenocarcinoma patients predicted to be at high risk by FILM transcript exhibited significantly worse survival than patients at low risk. Furthermore, the corresponding protein signature was associated with poor survival (all stages, p<0.001, HR=3.6; stage-I, p<0.001, HR=3.5; stage-IB, p<0.001, HR=4.6) and mortality risk (all stages, p=0.001, HR=4.0; stage-I, p=0.01, HR=3.4; stage-IB, p<0.001, HR=7.2) in lung adenocarcinoma patients.
Our findings highlight a gene and corresponding protein signature with effective capacity for identification of stage-I lung adenocarcinoma patients with poor prognosis that are likely to benefit from adjuvant therapy.
Lung adenocarcinoma; NSCLC; gene signature; prognosis
We compared biological functions of two acetylcholinesterase genes (TcAce1 and TcAce2) in Tribolium castaneum, a globally distributed major pest of stored grain products and an emerging model organism, by using RNA interference. Although both genes expressed at all developmental stages and mainly in the brain, the transcript level of TcAce1 was 1.2- to 8.7-fold higher than that of TcAce2, depending on developmental stages. Silencing TcAce1 in 20-day larvae led to 100% mortality within two weeks after eclosion and increased larval susceptibilities to anticholinesterase insecticides. In contrast, silencing TcAce2 did not show insect mortality and significantly affect insecticide susceptibility, but delayed insect development and reduced female egg-laying and egg hatching. These results demonstrate for the first time that TcAce1 plays a major role in cholinergic functions and is the target of anticholinesterase insecticides, whereas TcAce2 plays an important, non-cholinergic role in female reproduction, embryo development, and growth of offspring.
Neural patterning relies on transcriptional cross-repressive interactions that ensure unequivocal assignment of neural progenitor identity to proliferating cells. Progenitors of spinal motor neurons (pMN) and V2 interneurons (p2) are specified by a pair of cross-repressive transcription factors Olig2 and Irx3. Lineage tracing revealed that many p2 progenitors transiently express the pMN marker Olig2 during spinal cord development. Here we demonstrate that the repression of Olig2 in p2 domain is controlled by mir-17-3p microRNA-mediated silencing of Olig2 mRNA. Mice lacking all microRNAs or just the mir-17~92 cluster manifest a dorsal shift in pMN/p2 boundary and impairment in the production of V2 interneurons. Our findings suggest that microRNA-mediated repression of Olig2 mRNA plays a critical role during the patterning of ventral spinal progenitor domains by shifting the balance of cross-repressive interactions between Olig2 and Irx3 transcription factors.
microRNA; embryonic stem cells; Olig2; Irx3; mir-17~92; motor neurons; neural patterning; interneuron; spinal cord; bistable loop; progenitor domain; spatial patterning; minor strand miRNA; regulatory network
T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive hematological malignancy. The understanding of its gene expression regulation and molecular mechanisms still remains elusive. Started from experimentally verified T-ALL-related miRNAs and genes, we obtained 120 feed-forward loops (FFLs) among T-ALL-related genes, miRNAs and TFs through combining target prediction. Afterwards, a T-ALL miRNA and TF co-regulatory network was constructed, and its significance was tested by statistical methods. Four miRNAs in the miR-17–92 cluster and four important genes (CYLD, HOXA9, BCL2L11 and RUNX1) were found as hubs in the network. Particularly, we found that miR-19 was highly expressed in T-ALL patients and cell lines. Ectopic expression of miR-19 represses CYLD expression, while miR-19 inhibitor treatment induces CYLD protein expression and decreases NF-κB expression in the downstream signaling pathway. Thus, miR-19, CYLD and NF-κB form a regulatory FFL, which provides new clues for sustained activation of NF-κB in T-ALL. Taken together, we provided the first miRNA-TF co-regulatory network in T-ALL and proposed a model to demonstrate the roles of miR-19 and CYLD in the T-cell leukemogenesis. This study may provide potential therapeutic targets for T-ALL and shed light on combining bioinformatics with experiments in the research of complex diseases.
Since the report of a paralogous acetylcholinesterase (AChE, EC184.108.40.206) gene in the greenbug (Schizaphis graminum) in 2002, two different AChE genes (Ace1 and Ace2) have been identified in each of at least 27 insect species. However, the gene models of Ace1 and Ace2, and their molecular properties have not yet been comprehensively analyzed in any insect species. In this study, we sequenced the full-length cDNAs, computationally predicted the corresponding three-dimensional protein models, and profiled developmental stage and tissue-specific expression patterns of two Ace genes from the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum; TcAce1 and TcAce2), a globally distributed major pest of stored grain products and an emerging model organism. TcAce1 and TcAce2 encode 648 and 604 amino acid residues, respectively, and have conserved motifs including a choline-binding site, a catalytic triad, and an acyl pocket. Phylogenetic analysis show that both TcAce genes are grouped into two insect Ace clusters and TcAce1 is completely diverged from TcAce2, suggesting that these two genes evolve from their corresponding Ace gene lineages in insect species. In addition, TcAce1 is located on chromosome 5, whereas TcAce2 is located on chromosome 2. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and quantitative real-time PCR analyses indicate that both genes are virtually transcribed in all the developmental stages and predominately expressed in the insect brain. Our computational analyses suggest that the TcAce1 protein is a robust acetylcholine (ACh) hydrolase and has susceptibility to sulfhydryl agents whereas the TcAce2 protein is not a catalytically efficient ACh hydrolase.
Recently we reported that the BH3-only proteins Bim and Noxa bind tightly but transiently to the BH3-binding groove of Bak to initiate Bak homo-oligomerization. However, it is unclear how such tight binding can induce Bak homo-oligomerization. Here we report the ligand-induced Bak conformational changes observed in 3D models of Noxa·Bak and Bim·Bak refined by molecular dynamics simulations. In particular, upon binding to the BH3-binding groove, Bim and Noxa induce a large conformational change of the loop between helices 1 and 2 and in turn partially expose a remote groove between helices 1 and 6 in Bak. These observations, coupled with the reported experimental data, suggest formation of a pore-forming Bak octamer, in which the BH3-binding groove is at the interface on one side of each monomer and the groove between helices 1 and 6 is at the interface on the opposite side, initiated by ligand binding to the BH3-binding groove.
Dengue, a mosquito-borne febrile viral disease, is found in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. Since the first occurrence of dengue was confirmed in Guangdong, China in 1978, dengue outbreaks have been reported sequentially in different provinces in South China transmitted by.peridomestic Ae. albopictus mosquitoes, diplaying Ae. aegypti, a fully domestic vector that transmits dengue worldwide. Rapid and uncontrolled urbanization is a characteristic change in developing countries, which impacts greatly on vector habitat, human lifestyle and transmission dynamics on dengue epidemics. In September 2010, an outbreak of dengue was detected in Dongguan, a city in Guangdong province characterized by its fast urbanization. An investigation was initiated to identify the cause, to describe the epidemical characteristics of the outbreak, and to implement control measures to stop the outbreak. This is the first report of dengue outbreak in Dongguan, even though dengue cases were documented before in this city.
Epidemiological data were obtained from local Center of Disease Control and prevention (CDC). Laboratory tests such as real-time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), the virus cDNA sequencing, and Enzyme-Linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were employed to identify the virus infection and molecular phylogenetic analysis was performed with MEGA5. The febrile cases were reported every day by the fever surveillance system. Vector control measures including insecticidal fogging and elimination of habitats of Ae. albopictus were used to control the dengue outbreak.
The epidemiological studies results showed that this dengue outbreak was initiated by an imported case from Southeast Asia. The outbreak was characterized by 31 cases reported with an attack rate of 50.63 out of a population of 100,000. Ae. albopictus was the only vector species responsible for the outbreak. The virus cDNA sequencing analysis showed that the virus responsible for the outbreak was Dengue Virus serotype-1 (DENV-1).
Several characterized points of urbanization contributed to this outbreak of dengue in Dongguan: the residents are highly concentrated; the residents' life habits helped to form the habitats of Ae. albopictus and contributed to the high Breteau Index; the self-constructed houses lacks of mosquito prevention facilities. This report has reaffirmed the importance of a surveillance system for infectious diseases control and aroused the awareness of an imported case causing the epidemic of an infectious disease in urbanized region.
Dengue; Epidemiology outbreak; Urbanization
Interaction between the hydrophobic Bak BH3-binding groove and the BH3 domain of activator proteins is a key step in initiating Bak oligomerization and activation.
The mechanism by which the proapoptotic Bcl-2 family members Bax and Bak release cytochrome c from mitochondria is incompletely understood. In this paper, we show that activator BH3-only proteins bind tightly but transiently to the Bak hydrophobic BH3-binding groove to induce Bak oligomerization, liposome permeabilization, mitochondrial cytochrome c release, and cell death. Analysis by surface plasmon resonance indicated that the initial binding of BH3-only proteins to Bak occurred with similar kinetics with or without detergent or mitochondrial lipids, but these reagents increase the strength of the Bak–BH3-only protein interaction. Point mutations in Bak and reciprocal mutations in the BH3-only proteins not only confirmed the identity of the interacting residues at the Bak–BH3-only protein interface but also demonstrated specificity of complex formation in vitro and in a cellular context. These observations indicate that transient protein–protein interactions involving the Bak BH3-binding groove initiate Bak oligomerization and activation.
Based on autopsy data collected in Southern China from 2001–2006, 975 cases of sudden unexplained nocturnal death syndrome (SUNDS) were surveyed. Genetic screening of SCN5A, the gene encoding the voltage dependent cardiac Na channel, was performed in 74 available SUNDS cases. The annual occurrence rate of SUNDS in the area was estimated to be 1 per 100,000 people. 80.6% of deaths occurred between the ages of 21 to 40 years and the case number peaked at age 30 years. In 75.4% of cases where witnesses were present, victims died in their sleep between 11 PM and 4 AM and many showed abrupt respiratory distress shortly preceding death. The monthly distribution of emergency fever cases in the area during the same period was positively correlated to that of SUNDS cases (rs = 0.611, P = 0.0025). Four polymorphisms in SCN5A were identified in both SUNDS and control groups. Compared with controls, the allele frequency of C5457 and C3666+69 were significant higher in SUNDS (P<0.005) while the genotypes of both 5457CC (P=0.012, OR=2.0, 95% CI=1.3–3.2) and 3666+69CC (P=0.004, OR=2.1, 95% CI=1.3–3.3) in SUNDS cases were significantly higher. This is the first report of an epidemiological survey and SCN5A gene screening in SUNDS in the Han population of China. The genotypes of 5457CC and 3666+69CC in SCN5A gene may be Chinese SUNDS susceptible polymorphisms.
sudden unexplained nocturnal death syndrome; Chinese Han population; Epidemiology; SCN5A gene; polymorphism; arrhythmia
Retinoids are mostly stored as retinyl esters in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) through esterification of retinol and fatty acid, catalyzed by lecithin-retinol acyltransferase (LRAT). This study is designated to address how retinyl esters are mobilized in liver injury for tissue repair and wound healing. Initially, we speculated that acute inflammatory cytokines may act as injury signal to mobilize retinyl esters by down-regulation of LRAT in HSCs. By examining a panel of cytokines we found interleukin-1 (IL-1) can potently down-regulate mRNA and protein levels of LRAT, resulting in mobilization of retinyl esters in primary rat HSCs. To simulate the microenvironment in the space of Disse, HSCs were embedded in three-dimensional extracellular matrix, by which HSCs retaine quiescent phenotypes, indicated by up-regulation of LRAT and accumulation of lipid droplets. Upon IL-1 stimulation, LRAT expression went down together with mobilization of lipid droplets. Secreted factors from Kupffer cells were able to suppress LRAT expression in HSCs, which was neutralized by IL-1 receptor antagonist. To explore the underlying mechanism we noted that the stability of LRAT protein is not significantly regulated by IL-1, indicating the regulation is likely at transcriptional level. Indeed, we found that IL-1 failed to down-regulate recombinant LRAT protein expressed in HSCs by adenovirus, while transcription of endogenous LRAT was promptly decreased. Following liver damage, IL-1 was promptly elevated in a close pace with down-regulation of LRAT transcription, implying their causative relationship. After administration of IL-1, retinyl ester levels in the liver, as measured by LC/MS/MS, decreased in association with down-regulation of LRAT. Likewise, IL-1 receptor knockout mice were protected from injury-induced down-regulation of LRAT. In summary, we identified IL-1 as an injury signal to mobilize retinyl ester in HSCs through down-regulation of LRAT, implying a mechanism governing transition from hepatic injury to wound healing.
Marek's disease (MD) is a lymphoproliferative disease in chickens caused by Marek's disease virus (MDV) and characterized by T cell lymphoma and infiltration of lymphoid cells into various organs such as liver, spleen, peripheral nerves and muscle. Resistance to MD and disease risk have long been thought to be influenced both by genetic and environmental factors, the combination of which contributes to the observed outcome in an individual. We hypothesize that after MDV infection, genes related to MD-resistance or -susceptibility may exhibit different trends in transcriptional activity in chicken lines having a varying degree of resistance to MD.
In order to study the mechanisms of resistance and susceptibility to MD, we performed genome-wide temporal expression analysis in spleen tissues from MD-resistant line 63, susceptible line 72 and recombinant congenic strain M (RCS-M) that has a phenotype intermediate between lines 63 and 72 after MDV infection. Three time points of the MDV life cycle in chicken were selected for study: 5 days post infection (dpi), 10dpi and 21dpi, representing the early cytolytic, latent and late cytolytic stages, respectively. We observed similar gene expression profiles at the three time points in line 63 and RCS-M chickens that are both different from line 72. Pathway analysis using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) showed that MDV can broadly influence the chickens irrespective of whether they are resistant or susceptible to MD. However, some pathways like cardiac arrhythmia and cardiovascular disease were found to be affected only in line 72; while some networks related to cell-mediated immune response and antigen presentation were enriched only in line 63 and RCS-M. We identified 78 and 30 candidate genes associated with MD resistance, at 10 and 21dpi respectively, by considering genes having the same trend of expression change after MDV infection in lines 63 and RCS-M. On the other hand, by considering genes with the same trend of expression change after MDV infection in lines 72 and RCS-M, we identified 78 and 43 genes at 10 and 21dpi, respectively, which may be associated with MD-susceptibility.
By testing temporal transcriptome changes using three representative chicken lines with different resistance to MD, we identified 108 candidate genes for MD-resistance and 121 candidate genes for MD-susceptibility over the three time points. Genes included in our resistance or susceptibility genes lists that are also involved in more than 5 biofunctions, such as CD8α, IL8, USP18, and CTLA4, are considered to be important genes involved in MD-resistance or -susceptibility. We were also able to identify several biofunctions related with immune response that we believe play an important role in MD-resistance.
For the last decade China has occupied second place, after India, among the top five countries with high burdens of tuberculosis (TB). Heilongjiang Province is located in northeastern China. The prevalence of drug-resistant TB in Heilongjiang Province is higher than the average level in China. To determine the transmission characteristics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains isolated in this area and their genetic relationships, especially among the Beijing family strains, we investigated their genotypes. From May 2007 to October 2008, 200 M. tuberculosis isolates from patients presenting pulmonary TB were analyzed by molecular typing using PCR-based methods: spacer-oligonucleotide typing (spoligotyping), Beijing family-specific PCR (detection of the deletion of region of difference 105 [RD105]), and mycobacterial interspersed repetitive-unit-variable-number tandem-repeat (MIRU-VNTR) analysis. Different combinations of MIRU-VNTR loci were evaluated to define the genotypes and clustering characteristics of the local strains. We found that Beijing family strains represented 89.5% of the isolates studied. However, the rates of multidrug-resistant (MDR) M. tuberculosis among Beijing and non-Beijing family strains were not statistically different. The 15-locus set is considered the optimal MIRU-VNTR locus combination for analyzing the M. tuberculosis strains epidemic in this area, while the 10-locus set is an ideal set for first-line molecular typing. We found that the clustering rate of all the M. tuberculosis isolates analyzed was 10.0% using the 15-locus set typing. We conclude that the Beijing family genotype is predominant and that highly epidemic TB and MDR TB are less likely associated with the active transmission of M. tuberculosis in the study area.
BAFF, in addition to promoting B cell survival and differentiation, may affect T cells. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of BAFF on Th17 cell generation and its ramifications for the Th17 cell-driven disease, EAE.
Th17 cells were increased in BAFF-Tg B6 (B6.BTg) mice and decreased in B6.Baff−/− mice. Th17 cells in B6.Baff−/− mice bearing a BAFF Tg (B6.Baff−/−.BTg mice) were identical to those in B6.BTg mice, indicating that membrane BAFF is dispensable for Th17 cell generation as long as soluble BAFF is plentiful. In T + non-T cell criss-cross co-cultures, Th17 cell generation was greatest in cultures containing B6.BTg T cells and lowest in cultures containing B6.Baff−/− T cells, regardless of the source of non-T cells. In cultures containing only T cells, Th17 cell generation followed an identical pattern. CD4+ cell expression of CD126 (IL-6R α chain) was increased in B6.BTg mice and decreased in B6.Baff−/− mice, and activation of STAT3 following stimulation with IL-6 + TGF-β was also greatest in B6.BTg cells and lowest in B6.Baff−/− cells. EAE was clinically and pathologically most severe in B6.BTg mice and least severe in B6.Baff−/− mice and correlated with MOG35–55 peptide-induced Th17 cell responses.
Collectively, these findings document a contribution of BAFF to pathogenic Th17 cell responses and suggest that BAFF antagonism may be efficacious in Th17 cell-driven diseases.